Destiny: The Taken King – Review Part 1

Judging from the reviews I’ve seen so far, Taken King is generally being received as what Destiny should have been all along.  Even those who gamers who give it a low score seem to agree on this.  For me, it’s enough to bring me back to the game, though it’s still too early to tell for how long.  Is there still room for improvement?  Certainly.  But is Taken King a significant step forward for both the game and for Bungie?  Absolutely.

Oh.  And evidently this will be a 3-parter…

My Experience with Destiny 1.0

Let me start by briefly describing my experience with Destiny to date.

I played both the Alpha and Beta on PS4.  I purchased the Ghost Edition, which worked out well as I might not have opted to buy the first two expansions when they came out.  I have always enjoyed the core gameplay and the setting is awesome on an epic scale, but there’s a lot I wasn’t happy with in the game.

I’m not a fan of the Crucible.  I tend to play FPS games on PC so I don’t have the controller skills to compete with most players, and it seemed the game never matched me with players around my skill level.  Just not my thing.

I played all the original story missions and strikes, but never tried the raid or the higher-tier strikes (heroic and nightfall).  The reason is simply because I would rather spend my time playing than trying to gather or maintain a group with which to complete these tasks.  This is partly due to how bad the game/PS4 is at enabling players to quickly team up and communicate, but mostly because I just don’t have the time for all that anymore.

One of my biggest complaints in Destiny was how virtually all of the endgame content was intentionally devoid of a matchmaking option.  I understand the justification that an ad hoc group would have a tough time completing these tasks, but since the functionality is obviously there why not let the players make that decision?

Of course, this would not be so bad were it not for the fact that the primary means of getting the best gear was tied to these tasks or the Crucible.  My favorite aspect of the game was probably the Patrol missions, especially when public events appeared, but there is no high-end loot down this path.

Anyway, I played Destiny quite a bit for the first month or two and then lost interest.

I returned to the game a couple months ago to tackle the content provided by the first two expansions.  Overall, I was pleased with the additional missions.  They provided a story that was easier to recognize as a tangible plot and made better use of the game’s personalities.  I really enjoyed the new public events tied to the House of Wolves, and the bounties to track down specific targets were fun.  At the same time, it didn’t seem like there was a great deal of new content added.  The Prison of Elders struck me as a way to recycle existing assets to provide additional “content”, but I’ll admit a rush when cracking open that big chest at the end.  At which point the problem of locking the good stuff behind a social wall reared its ugly head again.  The higher tiers of the prison again lacked any matchmaking, and grinding for reputation playing just the first tier would take far too long.  Nice that I’ve got some tokens for Variks, but I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to use them.

Again I leave the game, unsure if I’ll return.

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